Monday, July 23, 2012

Treaty or Conspiracy: Is the Gun in Danger?


I recently received a post on Facebook, from a friend swearing to “Vote Republican” in protest to a mock-news clip.  I was about to shoot a quick comment back, but did some research first, which took me deep into the darkest corners of the ICN (Internet Conspiracy Network).

Reading for myself Paul Joseph Watson’s writings, including his in-text linked articles, begs the question to my Facebook friend, “Why the hell are you even reading this trash, and worse yet, how can anyone take this seriously?” 

I have to agree with @Alton Burns’ condemnation of both the “newscaster” and the author of the July 2012 article that is fallaciously warranted. 

Watson claims that the United States Military (under Commander in Chief, Barack Obama) through a yea vote to a United Nations Arms Treaty, has begun preparation to eliminate private gun ownership in the United States, with an ultimate goal of a Military State (2012, Watkins).

Watson comes to this alarming, alarmist, and anti-Obama hyperbole through the linkage of three documents, separated by time and space. Early July of this year, Fox News published the article “UN arms treaty could put U.S. gun owners in foreign sights, say critics” (July, FoxNews).  The article alluded without support that the Treaty had “roots” in a 1961 report from the State Department on Disarmament. In reality, the treaty may require that the UN receive the names of registered gun owners in the United States. 

Less than a week later, Watson had made ethereal connections between the UN Treaty, and documents he had written about on July 6 including a US Military training manual for response to wide-spread riot or civil unrest, with a goal to “restore order” under extreme large scale public disaster conditions. This document is part of a six-credit continuing education course for military personnel, and is not an unusual “manual”, as one exists in every administration for every possible crisis.  This is common in business too: For example, hospitals routinely practice “Triage” and Emergency Disaster drills, and manuals exist for every possible scenario.  In fact, the ICD-9 coding system used for analytics and insurance reimbursement includes a code for injury by “terrorist”.  Even our children have fire drills regularly at school, and the teachers also follow a manual that would include worst case scenarios, such as happened at Columbine. The manuals are written with the hopes and prayers that they will never have to be used; yet should disaster happen, first responders will be trained, as was prophetically witnessed recently in Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Massacre.

Watson offers no premise for his claim, no statement or warrant that is a generally accepted statement.  His support, other than his own writings, is tenuously tied to his conclusion. Any ability he may have to convince is based on an emotional appeal by continuing the slippery slope fallacy that was introduced in the Fox News article, and by placing blame directly on Barack Obama, who was still in diapers when the Cold War document was drafted. The truth, however, is much more benign, as the Fox News article at least reminds us, a UN Treaty must receive a full 2/3 Senate approval before accepted.  The President just doesn’t have this much power in a tripartite government! 

The “newscaster” in the YouTube video, who continually interjected personal alarmist comments between reading selected clips of the 1961 document.  This 50+ year old document was written during the cold war, and related to nuclear weapons and nation states.    

Although Watson’s article is eerily prophetic in the wake of the last weekend’s mass murder with an easily obtainable assault rifle, his logic is still flawed and naïve of the slow-moving, cumbersome, and inefficient international bureaucracy…not to mention the inability of our own legislative bodies ability to accomplish tasks.

Rest easy.  No one is taking your guns.  The Bill of Rights have withstood 200+ years of assault, and has remained intact. It will continue, at least for some time to come. 


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